Former Anambra governor, late Ezeife buried 


By Kamsi Anayo 

The remains of the late former governor of Anambra state, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, was  on Saturday buried in Awka, the state capital after a state funeral service held in his honour.

This is just as the state governor, Chukwuma Soludo, regretted that the burial was not conducted in accordance with the state burial laws.

Ezeife, was Anambra state governor from January 2, 1992, to November 1993, during the aborted Third Republic.

It would be recalled that Ezeife died on Dec.15, 2023 at the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja, at the age of 85.

Dignitaries who attended the funeral service of the ex-Anambra governor included the governor Soludo; and the governor of Ebonyi State, Francis Nwifuru, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Patricia Obila, among many others.

In his remarks, Soludo praised the late Ezeife, stressing that he lived the kind of lifestyle he was known to preach.

He noted that ‘Okwadike’ as he was fondly called during his lifetime, was a man of integrity and credibility.

“Ezeife lived the life he preached. He did not just preach it, he lived it. Ezeife believed in the law, and that was why he held Nigeria responsible for the law.,” he said.

However, the governor condemned the printing of brochures, banners and other materials used for the burial ceremony, stating that it was against the Anambra State Burial Laws.

He stressed that the late Ezeife would not have approved of such.

Recall that in February 2024, the Anambra state government reiterated its resolve to enforce the burial law enacted in 2019 to control burial and funeral activities in Anambra State.

The law banned the erection of any kind of billboard, banner or poster of a deceased person(s) in the state. It only allowed the mounting of directional posts but should not be done seven days before the burial date and should be removed not later than seven days after the burial date.

The law was passed and signed into law during the tenure of former governor, Willie Obiano in 2019.

Speaking on the conduct of the burial activities, Soludo said, “I must not leave without saying this. If the Okwadike that I knew were to be alive, he would not have supported most of what is being done here today. When I got here and saw brochures printed, I said this is wrong, because it is against the Anambra State Burial Laws.

“Some people texted me asking to print some materials for the burial but I told them they don’t have waivers to do such because it is against the burial laws in Anambra state. Printing of any materials for burial in Anambra is meant to be for just one day. That is the law.

“We won’t enforce the law when a poor man dies and then overlook it when a rich man dies, no.

“I did not pass the law, the law was passed two years before I became governor of Anambra state.”

Recall that according to a burial poster signed by the Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, the deceased would be given a state burial, with the obsequies commencing with some pre-burial events.

The events, some of which had already been held, included a service of songs at the Ecumenical Centre, Abuja on April 12, a celebration of life and times of ‘Okwadike’ at the Eagle Square, Abuja (April 13), and the National Night of Tributes at Thisday Dome, Abuja, (slated for April 15).

These were followed by state burial events, which included state commendation and thanksgiving service at the International Conference Centre, Awka (April 19, at 10. am) with tributes immediately after the service.

A Service of Songs was held at his country home, Igboukwu in Aguata LGA of the state, by the Salvation Army Church on Friday, April

19, at 5. pm.

A burial service held at the deceased’s residence, in Igboukwu, on Saturday, April 20, at 10. am, with interment and condolence visits immediately after the service.

A thanksgiving service will conclude the ceremonies at the Salvation Army Church, Igboukwu on Sunday by 9am.


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